Maui News

Palau’s Efforts for Responsible Tourism Featured during Maui Zoom Event Sept. 1

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Like Palau, Molokini is part of a marine sanctuary to protect reef and fish populations and preserve cultural values. Education is key in ensuring visitors and residents do their part in maintaining healthy coral reefs. Photo Courtesy: Maui Nui Marine Resource Council

The children of Palau have written a passport pledge for every visitor to sign in an effort to protect and preserve one of the world’s biggest marine protected areas. The pledge holds the signees ecologically and culturally responsible while touring the island. Would you take the Palua Pledge?

The public is invited to a free presentation called “The Palau Pledge and Visitor Fee: A Concept to Help Maui Address Over-tourism?” It will be on Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 5:30 pm via Zoom. The presentation is part of the “Know Your Ocean Speaker Series,” hosted every month by the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. 

Guest speakers will be Jennifer Koskelin Gibbons, Palau Legacy Project co-founder, and Adora Nobuo, Project Management Coordinator at Friends of Palau National Marine Sanctuary. Palau is an archipelago of more than 500 islands, part of the Micronesia region in the western Pacific Ocean.


To reserve a spot at the free presentation, click here

The presenters will discuss:

  • the effects of over-tourism and ecotourism on marine life
  • the Palau Pledge and environmental fee
  • how they work to support the Palau National Marine Sanctuary and the impacts they’ve seen
  • future plans to further support the Palau National Marine Sanctuary

In addition to being the co-founder of the internationally acclaimed and award winning Palau Pledge, Gibbons also directed and guided the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Campaign through to its successful outcome when the Palau National Marine Sanctuary act was signed into law in 2015. 


Palau now has the largest percentage of protected marine territory in the world. It’s also the first nation on earth to change its immigration laws for the cause of environmental protection.

Gibbons has more than a decade of strategic marketing and project management experience in New York, Guam and Palau. Most recently, she held the position of executive director of the Palau Chamber of Commerce where she spearheaded the first independent presidential debates and economic symposium to develop better collaboration between the public and private sectors.

The Palau National Marine Sanctuary went into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, closing off 80 percent of Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) most extractive activities like fishing. The remaining 20 percent of Palau’s EEZ is designated as a Domestic Fishing Zone that will support food security and bring more economic benefits to the people of Palau.


Protecting the cultural and natural resources of Palau includes managing tourism and educating visitors, implementing conservation projects, and paving a positive future for Palau children. About 543,412 pledges have been taken.

The presentation’s emcee will be Darla Palmer-Ellingson, local radio show host of the public affairs program, Island Environment 360 Maui’s only commercially broadcast public affairs show on environmental and related Hawaiian cultural topics, aired on the stations of H-Hawaii Media.

These monthly virtual events are supported by the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

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